How To Deal With Negative Marks in CLAT? Expert Tips

Now that the countdown has begun for CLAT, which is slated to take place on December 3rd, 2023. There is only one month to go, and you need to tactfully prepare for the CLAT exam. This last month is the most crucial period for your preparation, and you cannot afford to make any mistakes.

At this stage, many of you may have one common query: “Are there negative marks in CLAT”? coupled with “If there are any negative marks, then how to deal with negative marks in CLAT”?

The answer to your query is  – YES, THERE ARE NEGATIVE MARKS IN CLAT!

But you need not worry about the CLAT negative marks. You have come to the right place. We will share with you all the strategies that you can follow to deal with negative marks in CLAT. 

Negative marks in the CLAT exam play a very crucial role in your scorecard. The ratio of correct and incorrect marks will determine your road to success. Your main target is to get the fewest incorrect marks possible in order to avoid negative marks in the examination. 

To learn all about how to deal with negative marks, read ahead to the post. After reading the complete post, you will learn about the negative marking system in CLAT and how to deal with  CLAT negative marks during the preparation of the examination and on the day of the examination. So, this post is vital for you to ace your examination.

CLAT Exam Pattern 2024

Before we proceed with the negative marks, it is essential for you to know the CLAT exam pattern for 2024.

The following is the most recent CLAT 2024 exam pattern:

  • The mode of examination will be offline, i.e., it will be in pen and paper mode. 
  • The total number of questions is 120, and for that, you will be allotted 2 hours. 
  • The mode of examination is English. For each incorrect answer, 0.25 marks will be deducted for each wrong answer.
  • Since the types of questions are multiple-choice questions (MCQs), answers need to be filled out on an OMR sheet.

Checkout CLAT OMR Filling Strategy!

Mode of examOffline
Duration of exam2 hours
Number of questions120
Type of questionsMultiple-choice questions (MCQs)
Marking schemeFor each correct answer: 1 markFor each incorrect answer: -0.25
SubjectNumber of Questions likely to be Asked
English Language22-26 questions
Current Affairs, including General Knowledge28-32 questions
Legal Reasoning28-32 questions
Logical Reasoning22-26 questions
Quantitative Techniques10-14 questions

Also Read: Reading Comprehension for CLAT: Top Techniques & Mistakes to Avoid

Tips to Avoid Negative Marks in CLAT

Dealing with negative marks in CLAT does not have a one-shot strategy. A lot of practice, effort, and strategies go into it. Once you know how to deal with the CLAT negative marks, you can easily ace your examination and raise your chances of getting admission to India’s top law college.

Here are some techniques you can follow to deal with negative marks in CLAT:

1. Pre-Decide Section Sequence

Before you attempt the questions, either in mocks or on the day of the CLAT examination, pre-decide the section sequence. This means that you need to decide beforehand which section you will attempt first. 

You should know the sequence of the sections that you will attempt first and last. Along with that, also decide what type of questions you will attempt first. 

Attempt those sections and types of questions first that you find easier. This will boost your confidence and help you not panic during the actual day of the examination.

2. Read Questions and Options Carefully

While attempting questions, never read questions and options in haste. Read all the questions and options carefully. 

One silly mistake that most candidates make during examinations is that they read questions and options very fast, leading them to either skip some important words or misunderstand the questions and options. So, read the questions and options given with diligence.

3. Read the Questions Again

Read the questions thoroughly and with focus. There may be important information in the question or in its options. Focus on the important information given in the question and proceed accordingly.

4. Read Questions Before the Passage 

Before you read the passage, give a short glance at the questions asked in the passage. This will help you to focus on the topics while reading passages and to answer questions with ease.

5. Underline Important Statements

While reading the passages, underline the important statements. When you attempt the questions, you will be easily able to answer them, which will save your time as well.

6. Mock Analysis

After every mock you attempt, sit down and analyze it thoroughly. Narrow down the sections and the type of questions where you have scored low marks or the number of negative marks is on the higher side. Make a list of reasons why such sections or types of questions are leading you towards negative marks. 

Also Read: CLAT Quantitive Techniques (QT) Syllabus 2024 & Important Topics

7. No Wild Guessing

While attempting CLAT, you cannot afford to make wild guesses. You cannot afford to make random guesses in the CLAT exam, as it will increase your chances of getting negative marks. Although you can make intelligent guesses, 

For example, if, in a vocabulary question, you do not know the meaning of the word, you can then read the passage and make out the meaning of that particular word. Do not follow the guessing method blindly.

8. Eliminating Options

There may be some questions whose answers you may not know or have a slight idea about. In such cases, you can choose the elimination method. Start eliminating the options that you think may or may not be the answer. This will help you increase the number of questions you attempt.

9. Important Terms

One silly mistake that most students make is skipping important terms such as ‘not’, ‘correct’, ‘incorrect’, ‘assumption’,’main theme’, and so on. Skipping such important terms can change the whole meaning of the question, thereby leading you to answer incorrectly and increasing your negative marks.

10. No Last-Minute Answering

One thing that you must always keep in mind is that you need to avoid answering in the last minute of the examination. Answering in haste or at the last minute, most of the time, leads to incorrect answers.

11. OMR Sheet

While attempting mocks and at the time of the CLAT examination, fill the OMR sheet side by side. Do not fill out the OMR sheet during the last moment of the examination. There are chances that filling the OMR sheet in haste or altogether can lead to silly mistakes and a shortage of time in the end to fill it properly.

12. Practice Mocks and Previous Years’ Papers

To avoid negative marks, practice more and more mocks and previous year’s question papers before the final day of the examination. The more you practice, the chances of making mistakes will decrease.

13. Maintain Focus

Whenever you attempt mocks, try to maintain focus for those two (2) hours. This can be done by attempting mocks daily, reading newspapers daily with concentration, and starting meditation on a regular basis.

14. Time Management

Time management is another approach to dealing with negative marks in CLAT. Most of the time, many students complain that they do not get enough time while attempting mocks. Time management is a skill. Pre-decide the time for each section. 

Do not take more than allotted time while attempting questions. Practising more and more mocks will increase your time management skills. You can analyze, after each mock, the time consumed by you in each section and work on it accordingly.

If you follow the above techniques properly, you can easily deal with negative marks in CLAT. 

Also Read: CLAT 2024 Application Process, Eligibility, Pattern, Last Date, Admit Card

Should You Attempt More or All Questions in CLAT?

There is one more question that students get confused with: ‘whether to attempt more questions or not’? or ‘how many questions should we attempt in CLAT’

This is one tricky portion while appearing for the CLAT examination. 

First and foremost, you should be really well prepared for the CLAT examination so that you are able to attempt more questions. But what questions you should and should not attempt are tricky. 

Here, you need to make wise decisions. Leaving questions unanswered will make you lose one (1) mark, and attempting incorrect answers carries -0.25 marks.

Read further to know whether you should attempt more questions or not.

1. Divide Questions

Divide the questions into three (3) parts:

(i) 100% correct

(ii) 50% correct

(iii) Unsure

100% correct implies those questions for which you are 100% sure about the answer and are confident in answering them. Such questions need to be attempted first, as it will boost your confidence.

50% correct implies those questions for which you are 50% sure and 50% unsure about the correct answer. In such questions, guesswork can be applied. 

For those questions that you are unsure of, avoid answering them. Leave all those questions unanswered that you are unsure of. Refrain from attempting such questions.

2. Keep Count

While attempting mocks and during the examination, keep a count of questions that are 100% correct. This will help you track your marks and know how many questions need to be attempted.

3. Accuracy Rate

Increase your accuracy rate. Analyse mocks after attempting. Check the number of correct and incorrect answers. In general, 75% is considered a good accuracy rate. The accuracy rate can be increased by attempting more mocks.

If the accuracy rate is good, then you can attempt such questions in which you know about the three (3) options. But if your accuracy rate is low, then, in such a scenario, avoid attempting such questions.

4. Do not take any questions as a challenge. This will lead to a waste of time.

5. The right strategy is not to aim for increased number of questions but rather to increase the number of correct questions. Your aim should be to first attempt those questions that you are sure to be 100% correct, and then attempt those questions that you think have 50% chance of being correct.

Also Read: CLAT Legal Reasoning Questions & Techniques for 2024


All in all, dealing with negative marks is a skill. You need to make wise choices. It is ultimately up to you to decide how many questions you can attempt 100% correctly. Remember, one incorrect answer makes you lose 1.25 marks. For one (1) incorrect answer, you not only lose one mark but also get -0.25 marks. This is quite significant for the CLAT examination. Make sure to fill out the OMR sheet correctly. You can download OMR sheets online and use them in mocks. This will help you enhance your ability to fill out the OMR sheet quickly and correctly. 

Make a wise decision to skip the question. Do not waste time on questions that you are unsure of. Lastly, do not worry! and do not panic! Be confident in your preparation. You have given your 100% for preparation. So, do not be anxious. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *